Prevalence, severity and risk factors of restless legs syndrome in the general adult population in two Scandinavian countries

Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Sleep Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.15). 08/2005; 6(4):307-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2005.03.008
Source: PubMed


To estimate prevalence and severity (using the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group Rating Scale (IRLS)) and to identify risk factors of restless legs syndrome (RLS).
Population-based cross-sectional study; 2005 randomly selected adults 18 years and above participated in a telephone interview in Norway and Denmark, employing the next-birthday technique.
Of the cross-section, 11.5% fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for RLS. Half of these reported the symptoms as moderate to very severe. Mean duration of the complaint was 10 years. Prevalence was higher in females than in males (13.4 vs 9.4%) and lowest in the youngest age group (18-29 years, 6.3%). From 30 years and above, no clear age-related difference was seen. Main predictors of RLS were insomnia (odds ratios: 1.71-3.16) and symptoms of periodic limb movements in sleep (3.20-7.85). The response rate was 47%, making the results less reliable.
This study indicates that there is a high occurrence of RLS among adults. Main predictors are insomnia and periodic limb movements in sleep.

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    • "Most of the studies performed in Europe and North America report a prevalence between 4% and 12% in the general population.7–11 Several studies have shown a predominance in women who are affected approximately twice as often as men,9,12,13 and in the elderly with a prevalence of 10%–24%.14,15 "
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    ABSTRACT: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder, characterized by a circadian variation of symptoms involving an urge to move the limbs (usually the legs) as well as paresthesias. There is a primary (familial) and a secondary (acquired) form, which affects a wide variety of individuals, such as pregnant women, patients with end-stage renal disease, iron deficiency, rheumatic disease, and persons taking medications. The symptoms reflect a circadian fluctuation of dopamine in the substantia nigra. RLS patients have lower dopamine and iron levels in the substantia nigra and respond to both dopaminergic therapy and iron administration. Iron, as a cofactor of dopamine production and a regulator of the expression of dopamine type 2-receptor, has an important role in the RLS etiology. In the management of the disease, the first step is to investigate possible secondary causes and their treatment. Dopaminergic agents are considered as the first-line therapy for moderate to severe RLS. If dopaminergic drugs are contraindicated or not efficacious, or if symptoms are resistant and unremitting, gabapentin or other antiepileptic agents, benzodiazepines, or opioids can be used for RLS therapy. Undiagnosed, wrongly diagnosed, and untreated RLS is associated with a significant impairment of the quality of life.
    Nature and Science of Sleep 09/2010; 2:199-212. DOI:10.2147/NSS.S6946
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    • "The prevalence of RLS among Whites is approximately 5—15%. The prevalence of RLS increases in relation to age, and is higher amongst women [Bjorvatn et al. 2005; Berger et al. 2004; Ulfberg et al. 2001]. RLS can be distinguished into idiopathic or primary and symptomatic or secondary forms. "
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    ABSTRACT: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an urge to move the legs often accompanied by unpleasant sensations. Symptoms appear during periods of rest or inactivity, particularly in the evening and at night, and are usually relieved by movement. The prevalence of RLS among Whites is approximately 5-15%. RLS can be distinguished into primary and secondary forms. Most patients (70-80%) are affected by the primary form of RLS. The uncomfortable sensations related to RLS often cause a minimal discomfort, thus a therapeutic approach is not necessary. However, almost 3% of the general population reports to be affected by severe symptoms of RLS, requiring pharmacological treatment. Secondary forms of RLS are relieved by the remission of the underlying clinical condition. Dopamine agonists are considered to be first-line treatments for primary RLS. Rotigotine is a nonergoline dopamine agonist with selectivity for D1, D2 and D3 receptors. It is administered once a day in the form of an adhesive matrix patch. The efficacy and safety of the drug in patients with primary RLS has been demonstrated by four clinical trials using dosages of 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 4 mg/24 h. A dose-response relationship was observed between the dosages of 0.5 and 3 mg/24 h. Side effects were usually mild, the most frequent being skin reaction at the site of patch application. More trials are ongoing and results will soon be published for the long-term (5 years) treatment of RLS with rotigotine transdermal patches. Rotigotine is a promising drug for the treatment of RLS. Its continuous delivery throughout 24 h makes it especially indicated for those cases also presenting daytime symptoms, and for those presenting the so-called augmentation syndrome after prolonged treatment with L-dopa or dopamine agonists.
    Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders 07/2010; 3(4):241-8. DOI:10.1177/1756285610374679 · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    • "Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is characterized by an unpleasant sensation in, and the urge to move the legs.1 RLS is a common disease, but is often underdiagnosed, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as other psychiatric, neurologic or musculoskeletal systemic disease.2,3 The estimated prevalence of RLS depends on ethnic samples or the design of studies, and varies widely from 1% to 15%.4,5 According to recent epidemiologic studies in Korea, the prevalence of RLS is 12.1% in Korean adults aged 40-69 years.6 "
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    ABSTRACT: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) has been reported to be more prevalent in schizophrenic patients who take antipsychotics. The cause of RLS is unknown but associated with dopaminergic deficiency. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the enzyme responsible for catalyzing the conversion of L-tyrosine to DOPA. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the TH gene Val81Met polymorphism is associated with antipsychotic-induced RLS. One hundred ninety Korean schizophrenic patients were evaluated by the diagnostic criteria of the International RLS Study Group (IRLSSG). The genotyping was performed by PCR-based methods. Of the one hundred ninety schizophrenic patients, 44 (23.2%) were found to have RLS. Although there were no significant associations between TH genotypes or allele frequencies and RLS, when separate analyses were performed by sex (male or female), we detected significant differences in the frequencies of the genotype (chi(2)=6.15, p=0.046) and allele (chi(2)=4.67, p=0.031) of the TH gene Val81Met polymorphism between those with and without RLS in the female patients. These findings suggest that the TH gene Val81Met SNP might be associated with antipsychotic-induced RLS in female schizophrenic patients.
    Psychiatry investigation 09/2009; 6(3):211-5. DOI:10.4306/pi.2009.6.3.211 · 1.28 Impact Factor
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